Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Updated: July 16, 9:16 AM ET
No home preseason games shown
By Paul Kuharsky
Jaguars fans in and around Jacksonville will not be able to see the team's two home preseason games on local TV -- neither live, nor on tape delay.
Because the games are not expected to sell out, they can't be aired live locally under the NFL's blackout rules. And the team's preseason broadcast partner -- Fox and CBS affiliate WTEV -- will not produce the games for a tape-delayed broadcast, the station's general manager said.
"The cost to produce the game is exactly the same whether it's in prime time or on tape delay at 11 or midnight," WTEV general manager Jeff Whitson said. "From a recouping-our-costs standpoint, advertisers are not going to get the same value and can't be charged the same. The economics of the game's whole plan change except for the expenses."
But ultimately, he said, the decision is made by the Jaguars, not the station, which is merely the team's production partner.
The production of each game costs the station roughly $80,000, Whitson said.
The Jaguars host Tampa Bay on Aug. 22 and Washington on Sept. 3.
Even the Buccaneers and Redskins broadcasts, for those in North Florida who might be able to access the stations that broadcast them, will be blacked out in the region.
But the NFL Network re-airs preseason games. The Aug. 22 Buccaneers at Jaguars game will be televised on Aug. 23 at 7 a.m. ET. The Sept. 3 Redskins at Jaguars game will be shown Sept. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
WTEV will broadcast the team's two road preseason games -- at Miami Aug. 17 and at Philadelphia Aug. 27 -- with Paul Burmeister and Tony Boselli calling the game and Brent Martineau on the sidelines.
Whitson said affiliates in three other Florida markets -- Orlando, Gainesville, and Tallahassee -- as well as in Savannah, Ga., also saw "no financial sense" in the tape-delay scenario for the two home games.
Whitson said he hopes the team, which has sold somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 season tickets, fares better at the box office to avoid regular-season blackouts.
"They don't want this to be perceived as a ploy to sell tickets," he said. "It's the reality of the business."
Edwards said because of the ticket numbers, it didn't make sense to put the decision off.
Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com.